"I am not sure how long the current civility being practiced in the House of Commons will last, but it sure is a huge change from what happened during the last session of Parliament a mere three months ago," says Guy Lauzon. There seems to be a new respect between Members of Parliament on both sides of the House.
Cornwall - Jun. 20, 2011 - I am not sure how long the current civility being practiced in the House of Commons will last, but it sure is a huge change from what happened during the last session of Parliament a mere three months ago. There seems to be a new respect between Members of Parliament on both sides of the House. The heckling and insults that were hurled across the floor on a daily basis seem to have subsided, at least for now.
Those of us who have been around for a while are pleasantly surprised and a bit perplexed. There seems to be a very subdued mood amongst the participants. We are not sure if it will last. Some are wondering when the first outburst will occur, who will be the first to heckle or hurl an insult across the floor. Both the NDP, who are now the Official Opposition, with 103 members, and our Conservative government have resolved to practice restraint. The Liberals under their new interim Leader Bob Rae did a bit of heckling during the Speech from the Throne debate but nothing like it used to be.
This distinct change in decorum is a major topic of discussion amongst my colleagues. We are trying to figure out why things have changed. Is it the makeup of Parliament? Is it because we have 106 new Members of Parliament? Is it because some of the worst agitators did not return to the House? Is it because so many of us heard complaints about House decorum from voters during the campaign? Is it because we now have a majority government? Is it because the NDP have replaced the Liberals as the Official Opposition? Is it because we have a new Speaker? No one is sure why things have changed, but they definitely have.
Personally I am very pleased with the new attitude in the House of Commons. I have often heard disparaging comments from constituents, young and old, about the lack of civility exercised in Canada's Parliament. Quite frankly I was embarrassed to try and explain it, especially to high school students visiting Parliament Hill. The only explanation I could give was the deep political passion some of us hold sometimes gets out of control. I would quickly add that I did not take part in the heckling. I feel very honoured to be a Member of Parliament and have the honour of sitting in the House of Commons. I try to give this hallowed place the dignity and respect it deserves.
Member of Parliament
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